Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2017

Pre-race show added ‘sex appeal’ – Hamilton

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says the pre-race spectacle at the United States Grand Prix was a positive addition to Formula One.

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Did you change your mind about the Verstappen penalty?

This is one of those, my first gut feeling was totally wrong penalty.

Then I watched the replay, totally justified. It didn’t look bad initially, but all four wheels on the inside, We might as well let drivers straight-line everything.

Track limits need to be enforced in a systematic way as soon as possible. Especially at tracks like this it is appalling. There was no such problem at Suzuka.

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  • 98 comments on “Pre-race show added ‘sex appeal’ – Hamilton”

    1. the sex appeal was there

      Sorry… what?

      1. @strontium Too much time since Nicole.

      2. Some people are turned on by Michael Buffer

      3. Should be in r/ihavesex

    2. not sure i would say that the sex appeal was there, unless he was gawking at the grid girls.

      i thought the whole thing was awful & hope its something they don’t ever do again!

      1. Everything is BIGGER and LOUDER and TOUGHER in TEXAS!

        Ladies and gentlemen, these guys can turn RIGHT and left!

        If you can’t handle a big slab a brisket and a little homoerotic shouting you can get your sissy tail back to the EU and have some crusty bread and a sip of tea.

        1. I’m a huge BBQ fan and not much of a tea drinker but eh…. tea please?

      2. Those driver intoductions weren’t really for us though, they were specifically for brand new watchers of the sport – to get them into the drivers, let them choose a favourite and follow them through the race. I would like to know if new watchers did get anything out of it and if it helped turn a new watcher into a fan, because if it was any sort of success, I can support that kind of thing, no matter how difficult it was to watch!

        1. I personally thought it pretty hilariously over the top, though it dragged a bit. Though I found Vettel’s seemingly genuine smile at the end of his one quite endearing, not every video was as well done as that of dancing Ricciardo, the non-laughing iceman Raikkonen, or the romantic-wind through hair, open collar for more bling to see Hamilton, it was on the whole quite funny.

          And indeed, not really meant for the regulars. But, if people do tend to care more about the drivers than the cars (I personally got interested in F1 for the tech) then making them a bigger part of the ‘show’ bit, seems the right move. So, can be improved, but nice attempt.

          1. This.

            If you want to make the drivers seem like heroes, introduce them like heroes.

            First attempt; they were never going to nail it the first time. If they keep it (and I reckon they will; because it’s an effective way to introduce the “heroes” to new potential fans, and it’s another show for the crowd) they really should also keep the grid walk – just sort the timing out so broadcasters can still do a grid walk.

      3. I found this intro cheesy as hell, but I really enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Clearly, drivers are not used to such treatment and that’s why most of them looked awkward. But with a bit more practice and tweaking, this could be a very cool thing.

        One of the reasons (minor, but very important) I really got into F1 back in the 90s was because they started showing driver portraits next to numbers during races – it added a ton of personality I could identify with. The intros in the US worked on the same level, especially for new fans. You see a glimpse of who these people are – not simply talented appendages to fast machines, but very different characters. Dancing Ricciardo and ice-cold-staring Raikkonen – this makes you want to learn more about them.

      4. I thought it was ok but they should have done the introductions in half the time – introduce them while they are simultaneously walking out. Do they pick their nicknames themselves? Did Kvyat really choose “Torpedo”?

        1. It was awful. I hope it stays in the U.S. only! I can see why Liberty might have wanted this but I really, really hope it stays in the U.S.

        2. It was awful!!, beyond Cringeworthy! So much so that I had to leave the room and was still cringing from what I heard from the room next door! I mean at least pronounce the drivers names correctly. I genuinely felt embarrassed for the drivers and sport as a whole that it had come down to this.

          My other issue was that it completely destroyed the pre-race tension that the usual format generates. I left the room and didn’t feel like I missed anything whereas before I would have been glued to the seat.

          On another note, maybe if they had this in Suzuka, there would have been time for Ferrari to change Vettels spark plug.

      5. While intentions were good, implementation should be rethought.

      6. I couldn’t watch. A toe-curling, pillow-hiding, godawful embarrassment. If that’s a glimpse of Liberty’s new direction, then it’s just as I feared.

    3. Shark Fins Rule
      24th October 2017, 1:14

      Lewis is right, sex sells.

      1. How is an old dude announcing a bunch of other dudes sexy?

        1. I think Lewis’ sex appeal comment was in reference to his intro, seeing him shirtless under his unbuttoned racing suit, sweat dripping down his chest, gold bling necklace, soft dreamy eyes, hands running though his curly hair in slow motion etc. He’s definitely one of the sexier drivers out there.

    4. Can’t say that I was that fond of the driver introductions & all that. It Dragged on too long, Was cringe-worthy & rather dull to watch.

      I’d rather have the usual things like the Gridwalk where we actually get to hear from drivers & other people on the grid rather than see them do that again.

      If it’s something they want to carry on doing for those at the track then maybe do it earlier before the driver parade so that those of us who want to watch/enjoy the usual TV pre-race shows, gridwalk’s etc… don’t have to sit through it.

      1. I picked your post to tag on to because you used a word that sums up my reaction to the driver intros…cringeworthy. Having been born and raised in Canada I’ve been seeing this kind of over the top stuff all my life from the US. But done this way for the USGP seemed so out of place, I felt really bad for the drivers, although I thought they all took it pretty well in stride.

        Hey, maybe since Americans eat this kind of stuff up it helped grow the audience a bit in the US, but it was still cringeworthy.

        1. Hey bud, we can hear you down in he US. Stop gossiping or we will have to we come upstairs and sort you out, eh.

          Also, that intro was tacky, and so is your comment.

    5. Colin NotMcRae
      24th October 2017, 1:26

      I loved the intros. They departed from the stale old format that F1 has been using since forever, and are probably part of what the sport needs if it is to conquer new markets in North America and perhaps Asia. The days of F1 being a niche, arcane European motorsport series are well and truly over – the people buying most new cars (which have the cutting-edge technology that F1 uses, and which commercial activity ultimately pays for F1) are no longer in europe, they are in Asia and the Americas.
      The times, they’re a-changing….for the better!

      1. I’m for the format for the same reasons you state, but the execution was awful.

        1. Rarely nail these things on the first attempt. It’ll get better. Tighter. Slicker.

    6. If the point of having paved runoff is safety, why do we penalize drivers for making use of it? We ought to praise them for using it and keeping the sport safe and sanitized.

      1. @markzastrow because run off areas are not meant to be tracks. The idea of the run off area is to put a buffer zone between the track and the wall. If you use that buffer zone, you’re effectively putting the wall closer, a wall that you wanted far from the track in the first place.

        The point of a paved run off is safety in case a driver spins off or something, it’s not meant to be a racing line.

        1. No, I’m referring specifically to when drivers are using runoff to avoid collisions. And your comment about the purpose of runoff doesn’t really apply to the narrow strip of paved runoff that Verstappen used, which is clearly there to provide an option to avoid a collision at the apex—precisely what Verstappen did.

          1. However @markzastrow having avoided the collision and gaining an advantage, failure to give back the advantage gained was precisely what the penalty was meant to address.

            1. But if Raikkonen created the situation that precipitated the need to use said safety runoff, then he should get a penalty for forcing a driver into a dangerous situation—which the driver that used the runoff skillfully avoided.

              I’m being a bit tongue in cheek here—I know one could make a case that there was room left. But my point is that there is a logical contradiction in building paved runoff in the name of “safety” and then disincentivizing the drivers from using it. Next time Verstappen may as well force the collision and take his chances.

            2. @markzastrow, We do need a “Devils advocate” in these discussions, thanks.

            3. @markzastrow Your argument fallacy here is saying avoiding contact and gaining advantage is not mutually exclusive condition. You can avoid contact and gaining advantage just like Verstappen did. If that kind of move isn’t punished, what prevents every driver to cut corner every time the driver ahead closed the door? Whether the outer limits of the track is made of asphalt, grass, sand, or wall is irrelevant, if you gain a position by running outside of the track, give the place back or take the penalty.

              As a side discussion of Raikkonen pushing Verstappen, IMO he entitled to do that because Verstappen isn’t sufficiently beside him (his front wheel ahead of Raikkonen’s rear wheel) when they entering the turn. Besides if it was a case of dangerous driving, at least Red Bull and some TV pundits will call for it, which AFAIK none of them raised that issue. Even then, if it was the case, Verstappen will still need to give the place back.

            4. With respect to walls, I think care has to be taken with that concept, unlike what Lucas di Grassi has said in his tweet.

              Sure a ‘clear’ solution would be to put walls everywhere…if we want all the tracks to be like Monaco and a parade. I just think that until the cars are designed to race more closely with each other, and are not on tires that need very specific pace to maintain their optimum operating temperature, walls would only cause more problems, even though they are a black and white solution to going off track.

              Also the paved runoffs were not always about safety, but were also to placate fans who were always so disappointed when a small error or a forcing off by another driver, ended their driver’s day. And with such a small grid in these recent years, do we really want only half an already small grid finishing races?

              I think it is as Kimi has said…the drivers know when they are fine doing it and when they aren’t, and in his case when they weren’t, they got a five second penalty and had to give the spot back.

            5. @sonicslv On the contrary, gaining an advantage is not an unfair outcome if the driver is forced off the road in the first place. If you accept (for the moment) that Raikkonen’s move was a bit dodgy—not just slamming the door, but doing so too late—then Verstappen’s move should not be held against him. If the safety runoff weren’t there, Raikkonen would have put him on the grass or in a wall. The contradiction is in blaming the driver that takes the runoff when it was the other driver that made a move that would be considered dangerous if the runoff weren’t there.

              Your question also goes the other way: if you penalize Verstappen, what’s to stop drivers under pressure from being able to nullify an overtake by forcing them into the runoff?

              For me, the answer to both questions is natural track limits.

            6. @markzastrow But the reality is that Kimi didn’t force Max into anything. Max surprised Kimi on the inside and Kimi never did anything wrong, so I disagree with Rosberg that Max was trying to avoid a collision, other than one he put himself within a chance of having. I do wish it were so and that Max would have taken that podium, but not that way.

              So what’s to stop drivers from nullifying overtakes by forcing drivers off the track? The stewards, for one. That would be no more legal than what Max did and in fact would be considered much dirtier and unsporting.

            7. @robbie Sure, reasonable people can disagree about Rosberg’s diagnosis. But invoking “the stewards” can be done either way—I can also argue that the stewards can prevent drivers from exploiting runoff by only allowing it if the driver in front is shutting the door too late. But I don’t think that in either case there is ever going to be a consistent standard that is fair to all parties, short of natural track limits. After all, as we’ve seen time and time again, the stewards do not consider shoving someone off the track to be a dirty move if the driver doing the shoving is the one overtaking.

              The quandary we’re in is that thanks to this lack of natural track limits, in some cases, there simply are loopholes in the rules and there’s nothing we can do about it. For instance, in Mexico last year when Hamilton went straight on through the grass at turn 1. There’s obviously an advantage to be gained by doing so that can’t be measured in seconds—avoiding the potential for a turn 1 mess and nullifying any overtaking maneuvers—yet under the rules, since he duly returned the time gained, what he did was fine.

            8. @markzastrow Kimi didn’t do anything wrong, he just took the racing line, I respect the move that max made, I thought it was ace, until I saw that it was blatantly illegal. People are just making up excuses because they like to see daring overtaking moves, but this daring move didn’t quite have the correct execution. Close but no cigar

            9. gaining an advantage is not an unfair outcome if the driver is forced off the road in the first place.

              @markzastrow This is where your argument has its fallacy. Gaining an advantage by running outside of track limits (especially by cutting corners since you shortened the distance they have to travel, and for US GP let’s agree running wide instead is permitted) is never fair, no matter what the trigger for it. And the answer of your question of

              what’s to stop drivers under pressure from being able to nullify an overtake by forcing them into the runoff?

              is actually clear: penalty for forcing other driver off the track, which we already seen been given to drivers before. However, the important thing is: the judgement and penalty should be left to the stewards not drivers doing something like vigilante revenge move.

            10. @sonicslv We’ll have to agree to disagree. I think that if a driver forces another driver to use a “safety feature” of the track, then relinquishing the position is an acceptable penalty—which is effectively served by letting the driver who avoided the collision to keep the position gained. You could say that that driver has “gained an advantage” by running outside of the track limits—but rightly so.

              And your answer to my question reinforces my argument: if the stewards can police nullifying overtakes, they can surely do the same with regards to your question of “what prevents every driver to cut corner every time the driver ahead closed the door?”

            11. @markzastrow No offence, but I think this is something that shouldn’t be an opinion and we can left it at that because your argument is blatantly violating the rules. Whether the rules is just or not is another matter. I do enjoy our discussion though.

              Your argument is promoting vigilante type justice. In no scenario you can break the rules with an excuse of “rightly so” and “using safety features of the track” is not an excuse either. Leave the policing to the stewards, whether they give fair judgement or not (and in this case most people seems to said it’s fair). Otherwise F1 is devolving to anarchy and the type of Vettel rage in Baku will be common.

              As to your second paragraph, that’s what exactly what they did by giving Max the penalty. So we agreed that the penalty is correctly given?

            12. @sonicslv If you feel that Verstappen was not forced off by Raikkonen, then I have no quarrel with your supporting Verstappen’s penalty. My argument is not about whether rules were correctly applied. I feel I’ve been clear that my dispute is with the rules—or specifically, the tension between the rules and the track design.

              Frankly, I don’t understand your argument that my position of encouraging drivers to avoid collisions is promoting vigilante justice. My argument is 1) questioning the justice in rules that punish drivers who take evasive action to avoid collisions while rewarding drivers who exploit safety features by forcing their opponents onto them and 2) questioning whether a rules-based policing system for track limit violations is more productive than traditional natural track limits.

              But for sure, I take no offense, and I’ve enjoyed our discussion, too.

            13. @markzastrow For the record, I do believe Kimi is not illegally forcing Max out of the track. But I approach this conversation from more general perspective, which is why I try not to bring the Kimi has some/is at fault or not debate.

              My impression for your “vigilantism” is because you basically said (please correct me if I’m wrong): If someone force you to break the rules (e.g going off the track) by breaking the rules themselves (e.g forcing you off the track) [which may or may not be encouraged by the track design], then its acceptable to keep any advantage that normally you shouldn’t (e.g. gaining a position). My counter for that is to responsible of your own actions (e.g. leaving the track and gaining position) and leave other party violation (e.g. the forcing you off the track bit) to the stewards [and bad track design is out of consideration for reinforcing these rules].

              For your arguments though:
              1) I don’t think that the case since we do have set of rules that declared “dangerous driving” (and I’ll include “forcing driver off the track” here) is illegal. However, in racing and real-life traffic laws, it heavily favored the car ahead because the obvious reason that the car behind has more situational awareness concerning both car. And in racing, your right to try to defend your position and “closing the door” made those situations murkier. Maybe you more questioning for the judgement of where the line being drawn on just defending and dangerous driving?
              2) I think at a glance, most people will prefer natural track limits and I do too. But after I put some more thought on it, natural track limit is not always the best answer for everything, which some good argument has been said by other people here, more so if we take consideration that F1 is only single event in a year for many of those tracks. Also the rules is always there, the presence of natural limits only significantly reduced the need of reinforcing those rules which I do think as significant advantage of having them. In the end, I just accept their presence (or lack of) as part of track characteristic.

        2. @sonicslv I see, I understand your counter now, but I don’t agree that it promotes collisions. I also think it’s fine for the stewards to monitor the situation—that’s their job, after all. I’m only saying that the logical “penalty” in that case would be to tell the driver who forced the other off to relinquish the position he tried to keep—effectively, no further action required.

          In other words, I think that gaining an advantage by forcing a rival outside of track limits should be treated as the equivalent of gaining an advantage by going outside of track limits. Both are exploiting the presence of the safety runoff to their advantage. But it seems the stewards and the FIA do not feel this way.

          The fact that an overtaking driver is held more responsible as they have more situational awareness actually gets at one of the things that bothers me here: overtaking drivers are exploiting this, as they’re now clearly allowed to force others outside of track limits to complete passes that might not otherwise stick (e.g. Hamilton on Rosberg at Austin in 2015). And I think the runoff has normalized these moves to the point where we now see drivers getting away with such moves even when no such runoff exists—like Verstappen on Vettel in the wet at Interlagos last year. Although in a sense I appreciate the cold ruthlessness with which such drivers are exploiting the rules, it aggrieves my sense of fairness. I think @3dom was subtweeting me when he said people are just making excuses for Verstappen here because they like daring maneuvers, but actually I feel like if anything I’m being a worrywart! It is exciting to see drivers run each other off the road, and apparently the stewards are fine with it. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

          I do agree though that it’s unrealistic to expect all tracks to eliminate all runoff since amateur rentals and other series are crucial for their financial stability. Maybe a way forward is that if such features are inevitable, the track architects ought to be working in concert with the FIA as they design the track in determining rules for each corner: entry, apex, and exit. I’m thinking of something like ground rules in baseball, where each stadium has unique features but with clearly defined consequences—a ground rule double if the ball goes off this wall, etc. And if clear enforceable rules are difficult to come up with, then maybe we’re better off without that runoff at that particular corner.

          1. @markzastrow While I wouldn’t say as far as it promotes collision, but if we let drivers “deliver the justice” themselves, eventually the stewards authority will be undermined and the sport can be in chaos. I doubt things like Senna deliberately crash because he don’t get preferred side on pole or Vettel make a love tap to Hamilton because he felt being brake checked is going to happen ever again, but it also shows why we shouldn’t give them a free out of jail card after feeling being wronged before.

            I do feel your main problem is (again CMIIW) you feel Kimi illegally pushing Max off the track. I won’t try to convince you if Kimi at fault or not here, but I do want to say: either way, Max should give the place back. If Kimi is indeed at fault, then Max and RB should complain to the stewards to give Kimi penalty, instead of using that to justify his illegal overtake. (Note: this is just an example, not what Max and RB actually complained about)

            Also I think we going to have different view on where the border between defending the racing line and pushing other people off the track will be. My view is, if you are in front of other car (being their front wheel axle is not yet in front of your rear wheel axle) when you make the turn, the you have the right to use all the track to defend, otherwise you should leave some space. And I think there’s a single fact that many people may miss: off the track means all four wheels outside of track limit, which means as long as you leave enough space for the other car to not crash to wall and they still can theoretically put a wheel inside track limit (within reason) then it’s fine. I believe Kimi and Max situation is the first, and in my view Kimi actually generous enough to leave enough space that Max could’ve use to make his pass legal. Drivers who always good at braking late like Hamilton, Ricciardo, or Max himself is having big advantage. Hamilton is really good at this, as we see how often he “push” other people but the stewards and people like Brundle never seems to bother to look at it, meanwhile I don’t think Rosberg fully grasp this rule which is why he always being investigated. On the other hand, you also see Hamilton leaving some space when he would break the rules like in Monaco last year vs Ricciardo. I don’t think this is exploiting the rules, but rather having good understanding of the rules, something that you get from experience, not talent. Max is still young, so if he willing to learn I bet in the future he going to understand why he get the penalty.

            For the track limits itself, they already tried with various kerb forms, artificial grass, and astroturf. Sadly there no good solution yet :(

            1. @sonicslv I still don’t understand why you think that even if Raikkonen did something illegal, that Verstappen should be obliged to relinquish the place until the stewards sort it out. That strikes me as impractical at best—possibly farcical. It seems more reasonable for both drivers to carry on until the stewards tell him to give the place back or not. If indeed it was a situation that one driver should be punished for, and that the other driver had no choice in avoiding, it’s unfair to be held him back until a decision is made.

              As for exploiting the rules, well that’s the same thing as understanding them well to me. To be clear, I don’t mean anything negative when I say someone like Hamilton exploits the rules. That’s racing, and that he does it so well is one of the reasons I like him.

              But that doesn’t mean I have to agree with the rules, or the track features he’s using. I think it makes a joke of the supposed respect for track limits that the FIA keeps trying to cultivate, it lowers driving standards overall, and it hurts the integrity of the sport.

              As I said many posts back, I fully realize there is a case to be made that Raikkonen left Verstappen room. And if you think justice was served here, I don’t have a problem with that. Like you say, I don’t want get hung up on the outcome of this particular case for this discussion. But it illustrates my general dislike for the fact that arbitrary track limits put drivers in a situation where they have to risk collisions for moves to count—when there is ample pavement right next to them to use. And that’s silly. You may as well go back to the car park of Caesar’s Palace and just paint the track across a sea of tarmac. Actually, even that was better than what we’re taking about here because they at least brought in sand to create some semblance of natural track limits.

              I may just be howling at the moon here, but I remember that when Zanardi passed Herta at the Corkscrew in 1996 with all four wheels on the inside of the curbing, not even Herta complained. That gets brought up in the comments all the time as an example of something similar to this one—where people thought it so exciting they couldn’t bring themselves to enforce the rules.

              But I remember it differently at the time. It seemed simply accepted that you could in fact go entirely off the track if you dared to, because the track design meant the consequences were so likely to be severe. In those days, there was a true curb on the inside that Zanardi was bounding over—not just a rumble strip, but a hard curb several inches high—as well as dirt. It wasn’t a case of not applying the rules. It seemed perfectly legal to exceed the “track limits” because his recovery—flying over the curb, risking suspension damage, doing it on the downhill gradient and through the dirt—was arguably a greater demonstration of car control than if he’d stayed on the course in the first place. And that was because the track design demanded that demonstration of control if you went off.

              Sadly, no one can really claim that of Verstappen’s move here—and that’s what bothers me. It’s not that I feel worked up to defend Verstappen or condemn Raikkonen. I just lament the fact that this is what passes for brilliance these days.

              And just to add one sad final twist, even the Corkscrew is somewhat neutralized today with modern FIA-style rumble strips. :(

    7. When I saw the video for the defence I thought Verstappen was hard done by but “rules is rules”, then I saw the video for the prosecution and thought exactly the opposite, the stewards have far more information than we do and we should be very careful about criticising their decisions, especially if we only have scanty information to go on.

      1. Having seen the Sainz pass, I was beginning to waffle… Then Rosberg said Max shouldn’t be penalized, and now I’m certain the penalty was justified. ;)

        1. @grat But Sainz’s incident is different anyway. He didn’t pass Perez after cutting the corner, he passed him towards the end of the lap. Sainz’s offence was corner-cutting, while Verstappen’s was corner-cutting AND overtaking.

          1. @neutronstar It’s also not Perez, The shot of Hulkenberg with all 4 wheels off is when he was fighting with Ocon who he never passed.

            1. Meant to say Sainz rather than Hulkenberg.

            2. @stefmeister I see, thanks.

    8. The m’sport mag’s article on Hartley is illuminating and shows why teams retain faith in drivers even when results don’t look good and vice-versa.

      1. I agree with that @hohum, it’s a nice insight in what teams look at when they are evaluating driver performances.

        1. @Hohum, most people agree that the penalty was justified because VER exceeded track limits.
          But most disagree with the inconsistency of the decision making (or even investigating); many drivers gained an advantage (not being overtaken) when exceeding the track limits on Sunday.

          Further more the ‘tongue in cheek’ comment by @markzastrow above has some merit as well. Probably not the case this time, but it makes sense.

          1. Oops wrong place – should be reply to #comment-3612086

      2. I agree. The other point to note is Hartley’s fastest lap was 1’39.979, Kyvat’s was 1’40.971.

      3. @hohum
        That article about Hartley caught my eye, too, but when I give it a close look, it turns out to be an example of pretty bad writing and distorting stats until they fit. I’m working on a somewhat more detailed analysis, but my conclusion is clear: Mark Hughes is misusing stats to present a strongly biased opinion. This is not to say anything negative about Hartley’s performance, though. Just pointing out that the conclusions he draws are extremely far-fetched.

      4. I thought the most important things were Hartley finished the race and stayed out of trouble.
        Regarding his Qualifying pace, I didn’t see a lot of point in trying too hard to get into Q2 as he had inherited a lot of starting grid penalty places. I thought the most important thing was to present a fairly good time in Qualifying, which I thought he had. My recollection is he was often about 3 seconds behind the person who was fastest in Q1, and it seems he finished Q1 about 2 seconds behind Hamilton’s time.
        I know people say it is good that he is more economical in the use of his fuel than other drivers, but I’m not convinced of this as an advantage. I would be happier if he’d used an average amount of fuel because then I’d suspect he was pushing his car closer to the limit of its performance.

    9. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      24th October 2017, 2:45

      I’m also all for more razzamatazz, but it needs to be done well. The driver introductions were not done well.

    10. Since I didn’t see anything of the USGP I can’t comment on the “show” but I am not surprised by fans opinions being different from LH’s. Much as I love his skill and his good manners, LH would not be my choice as an arbiter of good taste, but then I’m a poor oldfart and he is a very rich young dude, you decide ?

      1. I’m Hamilton’s age, and I can tell you, he definitely would not be my choice of an arbiter of good taste. :)

        1. Well good taste is subjective

        2. I’m Hamilton’s age and the guy’s fashion sense is bleeding edge I tell you. Never thought i’d see Off White on an F1 grid! Meanwhile the rest of the drivers are walking around in 501’s dressed like they’re twice their age.

          All subjective of course. ;)

      2. @hohum

        I’m a poor oldfart and he is a very rich young dude

        I admire your honesty!

    11. Honda “upgrade”.

      The rules are the rules. Verstappen did cut the corner. Track design should be reconsidered though, why is there a car width of runoff on the inside of a fast corner? Is it really necessary? Is it making anything safer?

      1. It is making the corner slightly safer by allowing the drivers to see further ahead.

    12. No doubt the majority of those who were against the driver introductions are from Europe. Like Vettel and Horner said in that article, it’s not a very European thing to be flashy and over-the-top with their sporting pre-events.

      In Australia though, the thing to do is to criticise every pre-event entertainment.

      1. Does that then mean that the louder something is criticised, the better it was? In that case it was quite a success then, wasn’t it?

      2. I’m from the US, but feeling mostly European evidently. Probably not your typical ‘murican anyway though. Thought it was cheesy, over the top, a combination of the worst Hollywood/Vegas elements of flash over class, substance and style.

        I don’t mind a bit of a build up, or some rather classy intros. But, what ever happened to just shut up and race!

    13. I only started watching the race right at the start of the formation lap so missed the drivers’ introduction but found now a video with it. I stopped watching when they were introducing the McLaren drivers because it looked … well, cannot really say but I was nervous actually :-D
      First opinion is that it’s crap but have to give the benefit of the doubt, maybe it can work after some adjustments and more trials…

    14. COTD +1. Now even someone like Rosberg claims that the move wasn’t worthy of a penalty! First Horner, of course, then Lauda (very surprising from him), but even more surprising from Rosberg. Like I’ve stated many times, Verstappen was the only driver who actually overtook someone while being off the track entirely and kept the position gained unfairly. The only other driver (Bottas) who performed an off-track passing move as well gave the place back straightaway, so, by doing that, he didn’t provide the stewards any reason to even think of penalizing him, unlike Verstappen.

      1. Not that I disagree with your summation of what happened, which obviously is the stewards summation, but I don’t quite get why you’ve put a chronological order to it. Rosberg et al have had their opinion on it from the moment it happened, whereas you are making it sound like they have changed their mind and ‘now’ think differently. Is this just the order in which you personally have heard their opinions?

        I like Max a lot and wish he had kept it a bit more to the left such that enough of the left hand wheels were still on the curb that he would have been ‘legal,’ but that was not the case. While I do see Nico’s concept, I just don’t agree that KR was turning into the apex so severely that Max was having to avoid a collision. Perhaps if that had actually happened Max would have gotten away with it, and he does jink his steering wheel to the right making it look like he’s needing to avoid Kimi, but Kimi had left plenty of room after all, and it was Max that put himself off the track.

        So…not that I thought Max should have gotten away with it but Horner sure did make a great case for it being anti-climactic for that pass to be taken away, such was the excitement it generated in the end of the type we are clamouring for in F1.

        1. @robbie ”Is this just the order in which you personally have heard their opinions?” – Yes.

    15. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
      24th October 2017, 11:50

      I always find it funny how people use others people opinions to justify their own. When Lauda was crictical of Verstappen, he was basically “just a stupid old man” according to many Verstappen fans. But now when he supports the move, he is upgraded to “racing legend Lauda” who knows best. This happens a lot, not only with Verstappen. Opnions which agree are suddenly treated as unquestionable truth and opposing ones are just irrational.

    16. Instead of saying “Gentlemen start your engines” he should have said “Engineers, insert Engine Cranking Device (ECD) into Engine Cranking Entry Port (ECEP) and actuate the cranking mechanism for five seconds”. THAT would have added sex appeal to the whole thing.

      1. @Andy Hilarious, but I thought the cars can start themselves now using some of the hybrid parts?

        1. @mike-dee
          They need an entire engineer team to start the cars. When all is set and ready to go one man can finalise it by a buttonpress if thats what you mean. Not that you would ever use the fragile hybrid system for anything but power if its not strictly needed.

      2. Ahahahaha brilliant! I found that line to be particularly cringeworthy when he said it.

    17. If the stewards are considered to be inconsistent then drivers are taking a chance when they cross the line, any line. If they bust a driver, he knew it may happen so it’s his choice, just don’t squeal when you get caught up in the so called inconsistency. Max fans rave about his talent but he never used it to put two wheels into the ample space left by Kimi, why not? It’s because it would have slowed him down that’s why. By straight lining the second apex Max had less braking to do and could carry the speed needed to overtake Kimi.

    18. That BBC article is worth a read.

      I am a Lewis fan but I have to say- I felt last season- Rosberg won the political war in the team. The reasons- are in my opinion- quite straightforward.

      There were multiple reports that while Hamilton was living his life (as he is entitled to) Rosberg was cosying up to the bosses. I am sure we all know people like that be it from school or even work and how they seem to get favourable working hours, perks etc. Hence the “suspicious” things like the mechanics swap; the clutch changes that seemed to favour Rosberg more and the famous “dodgy dossier” saga.

      I AM NOT SUGGESTING there was bias towards Rosberg by Wolff and Lauda, but those tiny details certainly destabilised Lewis. In effect I think Hamilton left a vacuum and Rosberg realised it (perhaps with some advice from Keke) to exploit that to the maximum.

      I know Hamilton was always paranoid about disclosing his data because apparently in Ham’s words, “Rosberg would always copy and perfect”.

      In my opinion- data sharing will always favour the slower driver close the talent gap, especially when the margins between Hamilton and Rosberg were always tiny (Lauda said Ham had a tenth or two on Nico).

      Fast forward to 2017- Hamilton is even doing tyre tests following some difficult domestics with his Diva in Monaco and Russia and boom he is on top of the tyres and in imperious form. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I think, even Hamilton has admitted that there were some mistakes last season that were within his control that had he been on top of- would have easily usurped the crippling Malaysia retirement.

      Then on to Bottas- it is clear he cannot do the job Rosberg did to take the fight to Lewis. Even with Ham being more transparent and all the data he still can’t copy what his team mate is doing and close the gap on track like Rosberg did. That says alot about how good a driver Rosberg actually was (and in my opinion he is much better than Keke ever was).

      Finally, the dynamics as revealed in that BBC article in my mind illustrates why Merc will never sign another rooster to challenge Hamilton every weekend given the new reality of the Ferrari and rising RBR threat. The poisonous atmosphere- having been cleansed- will not be allowed to return especially with Ferrari and Vettel breathing down their neck. Imagine Austria- with Vettel sat in 3rd place. Or Spain- as indeed VERS and RIC took advantage- but with the points much closer in the championship. Why take such risks as a team manager?

      Also Lauda said (a few weekends ago) that “if Ferrari continued with their number one policy Merc would have to react accordingly“. So as long as Bottas keeps bagging solid points (vs Kimi): Merc will win the constructors with Ham WDC. Job done.

      While the rumour mill and us fans enjoy the drama of two number ones locking horns- for Merc, again, I don’t see why they would opt for that especially as they now face a threat from Ferrari and RBR.

      Ham and Bottas will be team mates for some years to come yet.

      1. Daniel Ricciardo is out of contract at the end of next year. Both Valtteri and Kimi are also out of contract at the end of next year. I can’t see him wanting to sign with either Mercedes or Ferrari if the contract stipulates he is the Number 2 driver, and I sincerely hope he doesn’t as well. That leaves a contract that stipulates he is either Number 1 or treated as an equal.

    19. Michael Brown (@)
      24th October 2017, 14:34

      Lewis is right, sex sells. Look at all of his sexy laps.

    20. i did get chubbed up a bit there

    21. Lewis Hamilton. Among his many talents is not having a way with words.

      Also, I’m glad Keith didn’t make some crack about the cigars and Bill Clinton being there, because that would be so weird and why would someone do that.

      As for veganism, didn’t the very same BBC article run a piece last week concern-trolling Hamilton for his diet, saying that Hamilton was basically going to shrivel up and die if he doesn’t eat an egg sometime?

    22. It’s motor racing. Not a beauty pageant. It was ridiculous.

    23. First time i agree with Rosberg. Hes an better armchair driver than actual driver.

      1. Wow as a WDC that sure makes him one incredible armchair driver.

    24. Driver introduction was great…

      Imagine someone who does not follow F1 fanatically like us… Say my beloved girlfirend.

      She knows Lewis Hamilton and Vettel, and the older drivers like Alonso and Kimi…

      What about the other guys? They need introduction. Nobody I know in my circle of friends and familly knows by name all 20 current drivers… Those are the people F1 needs to attract.

      We F1fanatics will watch F1 regardless of cheasy introductions… But without a good amount of show, others simply wont.

      1. I walked in at the driver introductions. I was pretty impressed. Maybe not the voice, but hearing the driver stats while being introduced is something they should keep. Probably never get all 20 in there, but at least those in some kind of contention somewhere in the points. I kinda ignored the rest.

    25. seriously? We go from boring Bernie and complaining about how rigid and stiff the FIA is to now complaining it’s cringeworthy for Liberty to try something new. Honestly, I think it’s people just being antagonistic at this point.

      1. Well…the trying of something new isn’t what’s cringeworthy, it’s what new thing they did last weekend that is. Honestly, I for one am not just being antagonistic just for something to do. This was just over the top…perhaps not for some American fans…but for F1 it certainly was different I’ll give it that.

    26. +++++
      What you’re about to read (or scroll over in annoyance) is a sometimes scathing dissection of a great praise of Hartley’s debut. I am absolutely not hostile towards Brendon Hartley, and the fact that I completely disagree with the article that I dissect, doesn’t mean that I believe the opposite to be true, i.e. that Hartley drove poorly and showed absolutely no promise. My take on his debut is that it looked okay, and that it’s far too early to draw any conclusions from it.

      @keithcollantine: Sorry for tagging you in such a wall of text, but I thought you might be interested in some of the points that I address, as some of them are recurring mistakes or examples of unsound reasoning that permeates many analyses, including some written by renowned pundits (even though I’ve rarely ever seen such a high concentration of them in such a short analysis).

      So, about that Mark Hughes article:

      How good was Hartley? (Motorsport magazine)

      “In other words, Hartley was performing at somewhere close to Verstappen’s level during those five laps. A tiny sample, of course, and perhaps signifying little. But it’s all we have at the moment – and it’s been enough to justify Red Bull into looking a little further.”

      In that article, Mark Hughes looks at Brendon Hartley’s traffic-free laps after his first pit-stop (10-14), and chews through the numbers to compare Hartley’s pace with Kvyat’s and Verstappen’s – and his methodology is 50 shades of questionable.


      On each of those respective laps he was […] an average of 0.64sec faster than Kvyat.

      – That doesn’t begin well, because that’s factually wrong, though not enormously so. The actual difference in lap times was 0.572 seconds, to be precise. How and why he got that wrong – no idea. It doesn’t even really change the narrative.
      (P.S. Looking at his article again, I think it’s because he rounded the lap times to a tenth of a second before calculating the average and giving that average with two decimal places – which makes it look a lot more precise than the methodology permits)


      Now, we are not quite comparing like with like. Hartley was on a fresh set of super-softs. Kvyat was on ultras that were 10 laps older. A new ultra was in the order of 1.5sec faster than a new super, but degraded – according to Pirelli – by an extra 0.03sec per lap.

      – Here’s a reaction image for all you friends of internet memes:

      Taking numbers out of context and using them where they seem fitting is a pet peeve of mine. While I didn’t bother to look up whether those 0.03 seconds were mentioned by Pirelli or not, simple logic tells me that there’s something fishy: If we were to assume that a fresh Ultrasoft is indeed 1.5 seconds faster than a fresh Supersoft, and that the former loses 0.03 seconds of its advantage per lap – wouldn’t that mean that an Ultrasoft tyre should be faster than a Supersoft tyre for no less than 50 laps?
      => This is obviously incompatible with the tyre strategies used in the race, including Brendon Hartley’s, seeing as he took on fresh sets of Supersoft (not Ultrasoft) tyres each time he visited his pit crew. While 0.03 seconds sound plausible as a rule of thumb for qualifying runs, it is quite naïve to assume that those 0.03 seconds are a constant, and that a tyre that most drivers got rid of after 15-20 laps is still almost as good as new after 10 laps in traffic with 105 kilos of fuel on board.

      => Another aspect worth pointing out is the assumption that a fresh Ultrasoft was “on the order of” 1.5 seconds faster than a fresh Supersoft. I do agree that 1.5 seconds on a single flying lap sound like a plausible order of magnitude, but Hughes goes on to use that figure at face value, and that’s where I think it becomes questionable. If we look at qualifying, for example, there’s one prominent example of a driver setting a competitive lap time on Supersoft tyres: Max Verstappen. He set a lap time of 1:34.716 on the Supersoft compound. If we substract 1.5 seconds from that, his Q3 lap time on Ultrasofts could’ve been a 1:33.2 (not accounting for track evolution), faster than anyone except Hamilton. In reality, he only managed a 1:33.6, and Ricciardo didn’t get anywhere near that lap time, either. And I think it’s worth mentioning that Verstappen probably didn’t go all out on the Supersofts, as those were the tyres he had to start the race on, while there was absolutely no reason for him to be nice to his Q3 tyres.
      => Could it be that the advage was closer to a second per lap? Because it looks as though the evidence for 1.5 seconds just isn’t there.

      – The next issue with that lap time comparison is the fact that it focusses solely on Hartley, while it (conveniently) ignores Kvyat’s situation in the race.
      While Hartley didn’t have any traffic on laps 10-14, the same cannot be said for Kvyat, as the lap charts tell us. From lap 10 to lap 12, Kvyat drove immediately behind Pérez, who was memorising details of Massa’s gear box. In those three laps, Kvyat was 0.67, 0.81, and 0.8 seconds per lap slower than Hartley – but that’s not really a comparison Hartley’s and Kvyat’s lap times, it was a comparison of Hartley’s and Massa’s lap times, since the Brazilian was the cork in the bottle at that stage of the race (on 10 laps old Supersoft tyres, to further deflate that pretty groundless comparison of tyre performance).
      – When Pérez made his pit stop, Kvyat had a small gap of just over 2 seconds to Massa, and he duly picked up the pace, going from 1:43 (lap 12, stuck behind Pérez) to 1:42.3 (laps 13 and 14), reducing the gap to a second (1.005, to be precise). Was that already his real pace, considering the closest thing to a ‘free track’ during this stage was a car driving 2 seconds in front of him, at most? I really don’t think so, especially considering that Kvyat wasn’t really attacking Massa, just extending his stint until it made sense to make his sole pit stop of the race. Meanwhile, Hartley was unequivocally on a two-stop-strategy after his very early pit stop and his switch to the second-fastest compound, trying to undercut the drivers ahead of him. Hartley was pushing on fresh tyres that he would only use for 20 laps, and Kvyat was managing his pace on tyres that were approaching the end of their usefulness (he pitted on lap 17). The lap time difference in those two laps (where Kvyat arguably had no traffic) was 0.17 and 0.4 seconds in Hartley’s favour (on average 0.2855 seconds, to be precise). It might be just me, but considering all the circumstances, that doesn’t even remotely sound remarkable, especially since there’s no way of telling how much faster Kvyat could’ve been without Massa blocking his path. That circumstance alone should be enough to dismiss those 0.29 seconds as insignificant.


      He then [after his pit stop on lap 8] had five clear laps on super-soft tyres before Lance Stroll flew by him in the straight

      – Hughes doesn’t dwell too much on that fact, which is typical of selective reasoning, but let’s just appreciate it for a second:
      From lap 10-14, Hartley drives at a pace that Hughes compares to Verstappen’s – and then he’s overtaken by Stroll. Oh well. Stroll was using yellow-marked Soft tyres at that stage, I might add. Williams and Toro Rosso seemed to have very similar pace over the weekend, as evidenced by their drivers’ qualifying and race results. If Brendon Hartley had truly remarkable pace during those 5 laps on Supersoft tyres, and Stroll not only manages to follow him, but even overtakes him, that leaves us with two possible interpretations of that event:
      A) Stroll’s pace early in this stint was breathtaking
      B) Hartley’s pace really wasn’t that impressive, and it only looks like that due to a combination of several imprecise and more or less groundless assumptions that completely distort the picture as a result.


      Lance Stroll flew by him in the straight but then drove at a pace that was holding Hartley up for the rest of the race.

      – Again, selective reasoning. It is true that Hartley was held up by Stroll, but not for the rest of the race. When Hartley attempted an undercut by pitting on lap 35, he emerged in clean air and never saw Stroll (who managed to stay ahead despite pitting a lap later) again. In fact, Hartley drove almost the entire final stint in clear air (with very few exceptions: being lapped on lap 43, battling with Ericsson on lap 49, getting past a defenseless Grosjean on lap 54). But Hughes doesn’t even mention that stint. Why? Probably because it doesn’t fit Hughes’ narrative at all, since Hartley was on average almost 2.2 seconds off Verstappen’s pace (on fresh Supersofts, while Verstappen had to make do with a used set of the same compound).


      To take another comparison, Max Verstappen had started the race on super-softs and was charging through the pack. During those free laps of Hartley’s, he too was in clear air as he chased down the distant Raikkonen. His tyres should therefore have been around 0.3sec slower than those of Hartley’s. […]
      The average difference between them was 0.92sec, albeit with Verstappen on tyres around 0.3sec slower. So, with appropriate adjustment, Hartley was lapping his Toro Rosso around 1.2sec slower than a charging Verstappen in the Red Bull. What is the performance gap between a Red Bull and a Toro Rosso? Probably somewhere around 1sec per lap, maybe slightly less or slightly more. In other words, Hartley was performing at somewhere close to Verstappen’s level during those five laps.

      Again, that comparison is highly problematic on several levels:

      – The numbers are off (again). By using the full lap times with three decimals (not just one), we can calculate an average lap time difference between Verstappen and Hartley of exactly 1.008 seconds, so almost a tenth more than Hughes wrote.

      – Again, he focusses on Hartley alone, more or less ignoring the race situation of the driver he compares Hartley with. He does say that Verstappen was in clear air, closing down on Räikkönen without being affected by the Finn, but he conveniently “forgets” to mention that Verstappen wasn’t in clear air on lap 10 (he overtook Ocon), which he nevertheless includes in his analysis. Coincidentally (or not), that lap is Verstappen’s slowest in that sample, and he was only 0.6 seconds faster than Hartley on that lap, so half as much as the average of an already tiny sample of just 5 lap times. If we exclude that lap, the average difference goes up by another tenth (1.109 seconds).

      – Again, Hughes compares the lap times Hartley posted on brand-new tyres with Verstappen’s on used tyres (of the same compound). That’s already tricky by itself, as I tried to show under point 2. But it gets even weirder here, and Hughes uses mathemancy to reach the conclusion that Verstappen’s tyres, being 10 laps old, must’ve been 0.3 seconds slower than Hartley’s. 0.03, that’s the figure given above – but it refers to the difference in degradation between two different compounds. If we were to take that seriously, that’d mean that the Ultrasoft tyre degraded at exactly the same rate as the Supersoft, while being inherently 1.5 seconds faster. Was the Ultrasoft really the overlooked star performer of the weekend? Or are the numbers Hughes plays with simply spurious?
      Feel free to make your choice, I’ve made mine.

      – There’s an additional problem with that (it doesn’t rain, it pours): Verstappen’s tyres weren’t just 10 laps old on lap 10. They were 13 laps old, as he had used them in Q2. Let’s keep it at that, I’ve rambled enough about how adding and multiplying numbers naïvely results in nonsense, but let me just say that I don’t assume that a tyre that has gone through an additional heat cycle and been pushed at qualifying pace shows the same wear as a tyre that has done three laps in a race …
      But even then, even using Hughes’ spurious 0.03 seconds per lap constant, Verstappen’s pace handicap would’ve been 0.4 seconds per lap (and yet another tenth).

      – And again, comparing Hartley’s laps with Verstappen’s is problematic, because Hartley was performing an undercut and came fresh out of the pits, trying to gain a few places in the short term. Meanwhile, Verstappen was in the middle of his stint, having overtaken 5 cars in 8 laps (not counting the positions he gained on the opening lap), trying to stretch his stint so that he could possibly make a one-stop-strategy work.


      What is the performance gap between a Red Bull and a Toro Rosso? Probably somewhere around 1sec per lap, maybe slightly less or slightly more.

      – Yeah, nothing much to say about that, but the wording pretty much says it all: Probably, maybe, less or more.
      I think I’ve gone great lengths to show that the numbers Hughes uses are, to some extent, plain wrong. Even if we keep parts of his reasoning and adjust it solely for the most blatant errors, the result is almost strikingly different:
      From lap 11 to lap 14 (the laps during which both Hartley and Verstappen had a free track ahead of them), Hartley was on average 1.1 seconds slower than Verstappen. His tyres were 13 laps fresher than Verstappen’s, so the (questionably) “adjusted” difference in lap times was around 1.5 seconds at that stage. It was more than that in the final stint, when their tyres were more or less equally fresh, but let’s not go there. Hartley was pushing at that stage, Verstappen was managing his tyres. The difference between a Red Bull and a Toro Rosso might be a second per lap, give or take.
      Now, how does any of that justify comparing Brendon Hartley to Max Verstappen? And why would anyone want to do that? It was his first race with hardly any preparation, after all.
      As far as I can see, Hughes’ analysis is an appalling string of selective reasoning, poorly done calculations, virtually baseless assumptions that are used as hard figures alongside other hard figures in some calculations, a tiny sample, disregard of common sense regarding racing in general and tyre strategies in particular.
      The conclusion it reaches is so shaky that I think the most appropriate retort to it, in statisticians’ terms, would be just that:


      1. Something has gone very wrong with that link.

        1. Why is there a link there at all?

          1. @drycrust
            Why not? I didn’t plan on having it spill over most of the comment.

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